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Yiming Zhang, the company's founder and chairman, has stepped down


According to a source with knowledge of the situation, ByteDance co-founder Yiming Zhang has resigned from his position as chairman and has left the board of directors as well.


According to the source, Zhang, one of China's most successful entrepreneurs, has stepped down from the board of directors of TikTok's owner and has been replaced by Rubo Liang, the current CEO of ByteDance. Zhang was one of China's most successful entrepreneurs.


The news did not come as a complete surprise. Zhang announced his resignation as CEO earlier this year, citing a desire to take a step back from day-to-day management responsibilities. Liang, a fellow ByteDance co-founder who was also the company's head of human resources at the time, began the process of assuming the position.


Zhang, on the other hand, stated that he would resign from his position "at the end of 2021," without mentioning whether he intended to also resign from the board of directors.


After being contacted for comment, ByteDance did not respond.


Sources familiar with the situation say that Zhang will continue to work for the company in some capacity, but will concentrate on the company's long-term strategic direction. Currently, the specifics of his new role are unknown, according to the individual who spoke with us.


In addition to the change, ByteDance is restructuring its operations as part of a larger effort to streamline its operations.


The Beijing-based company announced on Tuesday that it would create six business units, including TikTok, its sister platform Douyin, an education product line, a gaming subsidiary, and two enterprise service divisions. TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing platform that was founded in 2011.


In a memo to employees, Liang also announced that Chief Financial Officer Shouzi Chew would be stepping down from his current position in order to devote his time exclusively to TikTok. Chew joined the company in January and was promoted to the position of CEO of TikTok the following month.


Zhang's latest departure is the latest in a series of leadership changes at Chinese technology companies in recent months, according to industry sources.


Recently, Kuaishou, a popular Chinese short video-sharing app that competes with the likes of TikTok and Douyin, announced that co-founder Su Hua had resigned from his position as CEO but had retained his position as chairman of the board.


Cheng Yixiao, a co-founder of Su, has been appointed as the company's CEO.


As part of the transition, JD.com (JD) announced in September that billionaire CEO Richard Liu would devote more time to long-term strategy, and that the company had hired a new president to assist with day-to-day operations.


Also in March, Colin Huang, the founder of the upstart e-commerce company Pinduoduo (PDD), announced that he would step down as chairman of the company he founded, which competes with Alibaba (BABA). Huang resigned from his position as CEO last summer.

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